DT 27828 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27828

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27828

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The irrepressible Miffypops is languishing in the Naughty Corner after brazenly flouting the rules on Saturday.  Because I have been a good girl, I get the pleasure of providing some hints and comments today.

Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle which was a smooth and steady solve for me except for a little hold-up at the end, with 23a my last in.

Definitions are underlined in the clues. If you want to see the actual answer then press ANSWER and all will be revealed. If you do not want to see the answer – do not click.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Rose taken from the garden? (3,3,2,3)
GOT OUT OF BED: The first definition is straightforward.  The second is removed something, perhaps a rose, from its garden plot.

9a    Type that’s rarely in bar seat (9)
ABSTAINER: An all-in one, defined by the whole clue and formed of an anagram (rarely) of IN BAR SEAT.

10a    Chap goes to base for permit (5)
ALLOW: A man’s name followed by base or vulgar.  Permit here is a verb.

11a    Home brewing accessory (6)
TEAPOT: What somebody might make a brew in – perhaps a 9a, since there’s no beer here.

12a    Happy-go-lucky benefit of the welfare state? (8)
CAREFREE: Untroubled.  Split (4,4) this could imply state provision of services without charge.

13a    Bold prosecutor takes on cartel (6)
DARING: A two-letter abbreviation for a US public prosecutor is followed by a syndicate or band.

15a    Elgar’s composed finish is about to be made bigger (8)
ENLARGED: Finish or conclusion goes around (is about) an anagram (composed) of ELGAR.

18a    A domestic potboiler? (8)
CAULDRON: A large metal pot with a lid and handle, used for cooking over an open fire.

19a    A personage of good address (6)
ORATOR: Here, address means speech and the person is eloquent.

21a    Needles for decoration on artificial silks (8)
OBELISKS: The decoration is an honour.  Then add an anagram (artificial) of SILKS to find some tapering pillars, usually made of stone.

23a    When to tell all? (6)
CENSUS: An official count or survey, especially of a population.  This doesn’t quite work for me.  Am I missing something?  EDIT: I was – thanks to the 2Kiwis for pointing out that tell can also mean count.  Now it all makes sense!

26a    It was in the church’s interest (5)
TITHE: A tenth of the produce of land and stock, originally a tax for church purposes.  EDIT: Thanks to Gazza and Jean-Luc for pointing out the wordplay that I’d missed.  IT from the clue was – and still is – inside THE, also from the clue.

27a    No longer with the directors, taken to drink? (9)
OVERBOARD: Finished and then a committee or panel.  The drink is a salty mass of water into which one may have plunged from a ship.

28a    Watches  conductors (11)
TIMEKEEPERS: The answer describes clocks or watches, and also conductors of an orchestra.


1d    Gifted,  admittedly (7)
GRANTED: Bestowed or acknowledged, respectively.  Given.

2d    Savings scheme gives rising financial advantage (5)
TESSA: The tax-free savings account that was the precursor to the ISA is a reversal (rising, in a down clue) of a thing of worth.

3d    Dressed or nude and natural (9)
UNADORNED: An anagram (dressed) of OR NUDE AND.  Without embellishments.

4d    Has grown strangely partial (4)
OWNS: Neatly hidden in the clue (partial).

5d    Cheap items don’t allow profits (8)
BARGAINS: To find some underpriced things, start with a verb meaning prevent or prohibit and then add profit, earnings or winnings.

6d    Sea-going duck (5)
DRAKE: The name of an Elizabethan sea captain is also a male duck.

7d    Neat attendant (7)
COWHERD: This meaning of neat is the bovine one. I had to wait for 12a before I could fix the 5th and 6th letters to this one of two options.

8d    Perfect exam performance — or just fair? (3,5)
ALL RIGHT: This could mean everything correct, or adequate or acceptable.

14d    Gambling game using rent in the course of journey (8)
ROULETTE: Insert a word meaning lease into one for way or course to get a a wheel-based game of chance.  (Or gun-based, in the Russian version!)

16d    Willing? That’s nice (9)
AGREEABLE: Two definitions. Willing in the sense of amenable, and nice as in pleasant.

17d    Devourer of knowledge (8)
BOOKWORM: A consumer not so much of knowledge as of the wood-based tomes where it may be stored.

18d    One of the toasts that may be offered with a meal (7)
CROUTON: The meal is likely to be soup or salad, and this is a tiny piece of toasted or fried bread.

20d    Lives in dress — i.e. being slovenly (7)
RESIDES: An anagram (being slovenly) of DRESS I.E.

22d    It holds the unloved Emperor motionless (5)
INERT: IT from the clue contains (holds) the Emperor who supposedly fiddled while Rome burned without O (unloved).

24d    What most men have to do in quiet way (5)
SHAVE: Most men do this regularly to keep the whiskers away.  A call for quiet followed by a way or street.

25d    Yank that’s involved in weightlifting (4)
JERK: This word meaning a sharp sudden tug is also a weightlifting movement where the barbell is lifted above the head.

Rufus is the master of the cryptic definition, and I’m interested in your views on these.  Do you like them?  Are they to you what cryptic crosswords are all about, or are you someone who prefers to piece together answers from the wordplay?  Do share your thoughts in the comments.

The Quick Crossword pun: INNER+SCENT=INNOCENT

74 comments on “DT 27828

  1. 1.5*/3*. Lots of smiles, particularly for 9a, 11a & 6d. 23a & 18d were my last two in and stretched my time above 1*.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

    P.S. I absolutely adore Rufus’ cryptic definitions.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    1. I have plenty to say about cryptic definitions, but I’ll add my two pennies’ worth later when I get back this evening :).

  2. Thank you Kitty. Thank you Rufus. This took a little longer than usual. Clues are clues and they are all welcomed by me. A bit of variety does not hurt. I too questioned 23ac. Re the bathroom. The hideous carpet is in the bin. The underlay is in the bin. The underlay underrneath the underlay is in the bin. The floor tiles that were under all of that are mostly in the bin. The underlay beneath the floor tiles is mostly in the bin. I can see floorboards at last. Progress is made.

    1. I always wondered why you had such low ceilings in the UK. In fact you just have high floors.

      1. Yes – donkey’s years ago when we moved here by the time we’d taken off all the layers of wall paper our rooms were all much bigger!

      2. A bit late mentioning it now, but I must say that that comment made both of the Kitties laugh. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. Agree with Rabbit Dave lots of smiles today and no hold ups ,23a was also my last in preceded by 24a which produced a d’oh moment-going for a **/****.9a and 21a very clever surfaces and generally amusing cluing to a very high standard- in my opinion-thanks to Rufus for a bright start to the week and kitty for the blog pics-bought an amusing knitted tea pot cover at Beaumaris festival a couple of weeks ago which utilised the spout as an elephants trunk with knitted ears etc and big sewn on eyes like Thomas The Tank Engine -brilliant couldn’t resist!

  4. We too thought this was a little tougher than the usual Monday Rufus. 23a was also last in. We interpreted the word play by using the less common meaning of ‘tell’ meaning to count, as in the name of people employed to count things in banks being ‘tellers’. Then it makes sense as the time when we all get counted. Plenty to chuckle about and much enjoyed.
    Thanks Rufus and Kitty.

  5. At the risk of being boring, 23a was my last, but a bit of a d’oh moment. I like cryptic definitions better than charades but it took me a while to get the hang of these clues. Getting old, maybe …

  6. A very enjoyable start to the week – we especially liked 21a and 24d. Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

  7. This took me longer than usual too. 2*/3* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    23a and 18d were my last ones and at one point I didn’t think I’d ever get either of them.
    I was also slow with 19a – don’t know why.
    25d had to be what it was but weightlifting is yet another thing that I know nothing about so had to look it up.
    I liked 12 and 28a and 6 and 24d. My favourite was 1a.
    Thanks to Rufus and Kitty.

    Cryptic definition clues are often the ones I find the most difficult – they require more 7d in yesterday’s Xword than I’m capable of sometimes but we need all kinds of clues in all our crosswords. I admit to liking a good anagram, especially a nice long one all the way across the top – such a good start.

    1. PS – I’ve had a quick look at Mr Rookie. So far it’s not looking too good – my chances of being able to do it, not the crossword – only got about six answers – will carry on a bit later.

  8. I found this quite tough in places unlike most Mondays. I appreciate some of the cryptic definitions but just not my wavelength generally. ***/**.
    Thanks though, as always, to setter and Kitty.

  9. As usual with Rufus, it’s the cryptic defs that I tend to struggle with, especially when I don’t have a starting letter, and I often end up with two intersecting CDs that I can’t sort out. 18a and 18d in this case.

    For 18a, I think this is an example of the setter trying too hard to make a cryptic def out of something that doesn’t quite work. The answer is something you boil things in, so “potboiler” doesn’t really fit, does it ?

    23a is clever, and I’d never have got it wih -E-S-S but probably would have done with the other set of checkers.

    Thanks for the hints…

  10. Great stuff A pleasure to solve. Rufus is by far my favourite back page setter
    As regards your question, Kitty, I love cryptic definitions They seem to me to be the cleverest form of cryptic clue – and the anagram the least clever. Just mechanical. And I hate words chopped up into bits (A the top of something, T the bottom of something, etc)
    Thanks to Ruus and to yourself

  11. First take on this was somewhat forbidding but can’t really think why because before long all began to fall into place and much fun was had along the way. For my part the more cryptic the better with elements of GK thrown in for good measure. So spot on and thanks Rufus and Kitty. Memory jogged with chestnuts 23a and 24d. 9a and 27a raised a titter. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  12. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to Kitty for the explanations.
    Whether one likes a cryptic definition or not depends, I think, on whether one is misled by the surface or not. If not then the clue can very often be a bit of a damp squib and seem like a straight definition. An example of such a clue, for me anyway, is 11a.
    26a isn’t a cryptic definition – there’s some wordplay there.

    1. Agree to differ on 26a. To me it’s IT in THE. Maybe the “was” is a bit misleading but I thought it was cryptic.
      However I agree that 11a and the 18s certainly aren’t.

      1. Sorry – what I meant to say is that 26a is not simply a cryptic definition because there’s some wordplay, as you’ve explained.

  13. Thank you Rufus. I found this very difficult and needed some of your hints Kitty, thank you. The cryptic clues are all very clever and if I had more time today, maybe I would have had more success. It didn’t help that the paperboy brought the Daily Mail instead of the DT, which final arrived at 1030, by which time other stuff is under way !

  14. Cryptic 27,828: 23A “When to tell all” relates to ‘tell’ as in ‘count’. Answer: ‘census’.

    1. You’ve changed your email address so your comment needed moderation. Both addresses should work from now on.

  15. Seemed like a step up in difficulty from the normal Rufus puzzles. Interestingly, the Guardian Rufus puzzle today was harder than usual as well. But as always, some lovely clues.

    Favourite today has to be the all-in-one 9a (type rarely in bar seat). Also liked the clever 26a (church’s interest), the cute 3d (dressed or nude), and a more devious Rufus in 22a (unloved emperor).

    Thanks to Rufus, to Kitty for a great review, and thank you 2Kiwis for increasing my appreciation of 23a.

  16. Found it a bit harder than usual too.
    Specially with the not too cryptic clues.
    But got there in the end over a lovely outdoors lunch.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review.
    Tempted to look at Rufus guardian now, thanks to Dutch.

  17. Lovely Monday puzzle as usual. Last 2 in were 23a and 24d. I think a variety of types of clues are good, though I’m not fond of those which are a bit of this placed in the middle of a bit of that when you don’t know what you are looking for in the first place. This is because I can’t do those at all, and have to wait until I get some letters in. Thank you to the Monday setter and to Kitty.

  18. I’m new to this forum but, Kitty, do you really mean that Miffypops was ‘flaunting’ the rules – or did you mean ‘flouting’?

    1. Welcome to the blog, poskir.
      Knowing how punctilious Kitty is in her use of English I suspect that she actually meant flaunting but I’ll let her answer for herself.

      1. How the mention of lavatories (American slang) in Shakespeare’s birthplace can be against the rules I do not know. I was just trying to be kind and helpful to Kath. Honest. I do not usually comment on Saturdays and may never do so again.

    2. Welcome from me too, poskir. Thanks for pointing out the deliberate mistake, which I have now amended. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  19. I don’t know what is going on today.
    Is it International Make A Mistake Day?
    I think we should all switch off, reboot our brains and start afresh.

    1. I would love to reboot my brain and get rid of all the rubbish that I know that I don’t want to know (the words to Rubber Bullets, Bohemian Rhapsody, Johnny Reggae etc etc) that has worked its way like a virus into my hard drive, leaving no room for me to remember what I had for lunch, or my own name

  20. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could reboot our brains .
    I also found it a bit harder than usual and enjoyed it all the more.I thought 22d was really brilliant, and it pipped 1a for favourite.
    I adore cryptic clues. They are easier than wordplay if you (me , that is) don’t know all the word play conventions. Rufus’ cryptic definitions are usually witty as well.
    Thanks Kitty and Rufus.

  21. I love Mondays for some unknown reason Rufus crosswords suit me down to ground. Starting from the bottom and working up through the Down clues once I had 28a in it went very smoothly. Too many favourites to choose from. Thanks to Rufus and Kitty. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  22. Pleasant Monday fare from Rufus as usual.

    Faves : 1a, 23a, 7d & 18d.

    Not far to go now to the 21st and the oficial start of summer – the weather here in NL is already summery!

  23. ***/***. Started this morning because yesterday evening devoted to Andrea Bocelli – marvelous show. This was a bit of a chore to get going but the east side finally gave way and I gradually got through to the end. 23a was not my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Kitty for the review.

  24. I find Rufus’s puzzles just the ticket for me.
    Fave was 1a but many smile clues for me; last in 23a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review.

  25. I don’t often comment but today’s offering is definitely worth a round of applause. Sadly there is no clapping emoticon!

  26. Thoroughly enjoyed this tussle.
    Too many gems to single out one.
    Last in, to my shame, 18d, a Duh moment.
    Many thanks to Rufus, and to Kitty for the review, fortunately not needed today.

  27. Definitely a tad trickier than the usual Monday fare from Rufus. The top half went in fairly quickly (apart front 7d where I had ‘hand’) and after a lovely ploughman’s and some proper cider, the bottom half revealed all. 27a was my favourite although 9a came very close.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to Kitty for her excellent review.

  28. Thanks for the hints. I struggled with a couple today. As I’m new to this site, can I just ask how you know who the setter is please? I can’t see a name in the DT. Thanks again.

    1. Welcome elgreco. Your question is a frequently asked question, the answer to which can be found by clicking on the FAQ tab at the top of the page.

    2. And welcome from me too – everyone here is really helpful and friendly so please keep commenting. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  29. This took a bit longer than usual…not helped by putting 6d in as ‘diver’ ! This held me up with getting 12a and 10a, others fairly straightforward, although I thought that ‘census’ for 23a seemed a bit iffy until I realised on reading the comments above that ‘tell’ was being used in its other sense of ‘count’ then it seemed fair enough. Had no need to resort to clues today, so that’s a plus at least. A bit warmer here in Norfolk today…. A bit of a change from yesterday’s 14C… Very annoying as my son who lives in Germany reported they were basking in temperatures of 30c Grrrrrr.! 2*/3* from me.

  30. I seem to be on Rufus’s wavelength somehow and found this puzzle easy and fun. Possibly it’s ‘cos I love cryptic definitions. anagrams can be a bore and run-ons or “first” letters likewise. Didn’t know 36d to be honest but put in the only word that meant to yank. Find I’m confused often by lengthy clues though I dislike very short ones ! That’s my name showing my personality, alas ….
    1*/3* for me on a merry Monday ….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  31. Just finished this puzzle a little late but thoroughly enjoyed. Yes, Kitty, Rufus is the master of the cryptic crossword and those are my favourites with a few anagrams thrown in to get me going.
    Now, Kitty, you promised to let us have your views on them………..

    1. I did, Collywobbles, and I will do so. But I’m just back in after a hard day, so it will have to wait until after dinner. I’ll just first go and correct my deliberate mistakes. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  32. I like cryptic definitions but they’re most definitely the type of clue that cause me the most problems. I’m slowly improving, but riddles were never my strong suit. I’m much better at the charade-type clues and thus am able to complete the vast majority of the puzzles from Tuesday to Sunday, but Mondays’ generally cause a few problems as I only allow about ‘one cup of coffee’ to solve the puzzle and I’m generally requiring more time than that on Monday AM. Maybe I should develop some patience and try solving in the PM…. Today’s was ***/*** with a couple of hints needed – thanks to Rufus and Kitty for the review and hints.

  33. Lots of thanks to you all for sharing your thoughts about cryptic definitions. It’s very interesting to hear your perspectives. I asked the question because I have felt very differently about them at different times, so wanted to compare notes. Here’s my experience:

    When I started out, I detested them. That was simply because I was primed to look for the other types of wordplay and would never think to look for a cryptic definition. I’d spend ages failing to come up with anything, then feel cheated to find a “silly” definition. I called those clues “straight-cryptics” (I suppose, as opposed to “proper cryptics”).

    Anyway, I improved a little as a solver, got used to more types of clue, and became fond of them. The cleverest cryptic definitions are things of beauty, and I am always awed by a good one.

    Just two small problems remain. The first is as Gazza pointed out in comment 12, if the true definition is easily spotted – especially if it is the very first thing you see – then you have a disappointing dull clue. The second is to do with the fact that most cryptic clues give you two routes to the answer. A cryptic definition on its own only provides one. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not all that good at normal crosswords, and so appreciate that extra way in!

    I’ve always been of the opinion that if you’ve solved a cryptic clue correctly, and for all of the correct reasons, you should be left in no doubt at all that it’s right. That’s where a sub-standard cryptic definition fails.

    What I do particularly like to see are good cryptic definitions along with subsidiary wordplay. See last Sunday’s puzzle for examples.

    Phew! I did say that I had plenty to say on the topic!

      1. Blimey, Kitty, that’s a lot, but I do agree with you. The only thought that I have is that I would rather the definition be less cryptic, if that is not an oxymoron!

  34. Well worthwhile, and rather tougher than the usual week-starter. The SW corner held me up a bit, so 2*/3* overall. I liked 27d. Thanks to Rufus for the exercise, and to Kitty for the review.

  35. Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review and hints. A nice start to the week, but quite tricky, needed the hints for 19&23a,and 16d. Favourite was 18a. Was 3*/3* for me. Will be commenting in the evenings this week, as I’m hill walking in Cumbria.

  36. Thank you very much Rufus. This was a delight. In order, I prefer cryptic clues, anagrams then charades although a balanced diet is best. Thanks very much Kitty for the review which I needed for 23a and the last word of 1a as I was fixated on another possible word. All really enjoyable. Hope MP’s kitchen is coming along well.

  37. Must still have my holiday head on, I found this horrendously difficult and managed only 7 answers.
    Just couldn’t get on the setters wavelength.
    Thx to all

  38. **/****

    Not the usual R & W Monday. And all the better for it. 18a/d and 23a are standout clues. 7d was my last in.

    Many thanks to Rufus for a wonderful start to the week and to Kitty for blogging.

  39. Coming a bit late to the cryptic party, but here’s my two-pennoth anyway: as others have mentioned, the best puzzles are ones with a mix of clues. I love a well-disguised anagram; I particularly like a soupçon of general knowledge; a good charade gets my vote (but not too many of those either, I have a limited supply of MP’s Lego); cryptics are fine, but only a scattering and Spoonerisms are a bug of a bitter, but I like them when I finally work them out. All in all, I like crosswords that pose a challenge from every direction.
    As for today’s Rufus, I found it more tricky than usual, with half a dozen stubborn answers needing to be teased out. Like many, 23a was my last one in, and deserves a podium finish, but the winner spraying champagne over scantily clad girls is 9a, which was one of the best clues we’ve had for ages.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for an excellent review and for kicking off a most interesting discussion. 2*/3*

    1. I totally agree, TS – a good mix is best. But we all have our favourite types of clue, and I was interested enough to do a straw poll on this one.

  40. Groan- crossword saturated with cryptic clues, I.e. ones where the composer can’t be bothered to supply the bit that tells the solver how to assemble the answer. Yes, it’s a Rufus. These clues are trivial if you’re on the compser’s wavelength and verge on the impossible if you aren’t.

Comments are closed.